Technical data
Type MDR-3, '11'
Function Naval Reconnaissater
Year 1932
Crew 5?
Engines 4*500/680hp BMW VI
Length 21.9m
Height ?m
Wingspan 32.2m
Wing area 153.0m2
Empty weight 8928kg
Loaded weight 13973kg
Wing Load (kg/m2) 91.5
Power load (kg/hp) 5.1
Speed at 0m 210km/h
Landing Speed 110km/h
Takeoff Roll 36sec
Range 1600km
Flight Endurance 8h
Ceiling 2200m
Fuel 3300kg
Guns 8*7.63mm PV-1
Bombs 2*250kg

MDR-3 (TsKB-11) by I.V.Chetverikov

16k b/w drawings from "History of aircraft construction in the USSR", Vol.1 p.454

This large flying boat was included into plan of the TsKB naval section (Morskoj Otdel) under N°11. Designers decided to use wing and some other parts from the TB-5 heavy bomber. In January 1931 the first in the country hydrochannel trials were performed on the MDR-3 scale maquette. Shape of the hull was successful, what was proved lated during aircraft trials.

Assembly started in Spring 1931 and aircraft was ready in December same year. It was large shoulder-wing monoplane (with struts) and balance floats (3m3 each) placed relatively close to the hull. Four liquid-cooling engines were arranged in two tandems and installed on struts above the wing. Each pair had common water radiator under the front engine. Installation was very convenient for service purposes. Upper surface of central wing section was made of corrugated aluminum to allow to access engines. Hull was similar to that of ROM-2, but with additional step and external stringers.

Equipment of pilot's and navigator's cockpit, gun installations were same as on TB-5, with addition of specific naval equipment (anchor, rafts). Two 250kg bombs could be installed on fuselage hardpoints (between the wing struts).

In January 1932 aircraft was transported to Sevastopol Naval Base. Test flights started on January 13 (14? 15?) by B.L.Bukhgolts and finished on March 25 same year. Aircraft was rejected...

MDR-3 had good seaworthiness, short takeoff run and decent for its class speed, but climb rate and ceiling were unacceptably poor. Partially it could be blamed on tandem installation of engines, but main trouble was poor aircraft airdynamic. Engine tandems were too close to the wing (specially the radiators). Numerous rivets with semi-spherical heads, other 'spiky' parts in the air flow, missing fairings on struts, external elements of the hull frame all together contributed to poor performance.

On March 25 MDR-3 was transferred to A.N.Tupolev for modifications, who transformed it into MDR-4.


TB-5 TsKB-8


  • "History of aircraft construction in the USSR", Vol.1 p.454-455;
  • ....
  • Created June 29, 1999 Back to
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